AUKTYON "Girls Sing" Geometriya

Friday, March 14, 2008

AUKTYON"Girls Sing"Geometriya

VETERAN RUSSIAN ROCKERS Auktyon have enlisted the help of several notable American musicians on their latest release, so the music may well reach a wider audience than usual. But augmented or not, Auktyon's sound remains as curious and kinetic as ever.

Guitarist Marc Ribot, who appears on "Girls Sing" with fellow recruits John Medeski on keyboards, Frank London on trumpet and Ned Rothenberg on alto sax and flute, recently called Auktyon "punk rockers with a surrealist edge." Although that description sums up the eight-piece band's temperament and theatricality as well as any, "Girls Sing" is label-defying.

"Profukal" kicks off the album with frenzied Slavic funk: Ribot lays down chunky chordal riffs, Medeski scribbles away on a Hammond organ and drummer Boris Shaveinikov vigorously assumes the role of pile driver until the atonal fade. In sharp contrast, the eight-minute-plus "Tam-dam" unfolds slowly and hauntingly, accented by Japanese flute and rustling percussion.

The remaining performances tend to fall somewhere between those sonic strategies, though the energy level never flags for long. Eastern European dance music, Gypsy guitar traditions and fusion jazz tints play a role in the mix, as does Auktyon's trademark (and frequently unhinged) blend of brass, reeds, percussion, vocals, strings and showmanship.

-- Mike Joyce

Appearing Thursday at the State Theatre (703-237-0300;http://www.thestatetheatre.com). Doors open at 7.


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